MANILA, Philippines – Two anti-climate change bills discouraging the use of plastic bags and encouraging the use of energy efficient recycling processes have been filed at the House of Representatives.
Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara called on the Aquino government to intensify the country’s climate change mitigation and adaptation capability, as he also urged on other sectors to join the campaign against climate change.
Angara has filed House Bill 496, known as the Plastic Bag Recycling Act of 2010 and House Bill 501 or the Stores Proactive in Plastic Bag Recycling Act of 2010 in a move to encourage the use of alternative and reusable bags, like canvass or cloth, and to campaign for recycling mechanisms to protect the environment.
"Most plastics are non-biodegrable. And while some are, still, these plastics do not break down easily, which could clog waterways during floods. Worse, the breaking down process produces toxins which contaminate soil and waterways, even finding their way into the food web," he said in a statement.
Angara said the Philippines should stop being a “sachet economy.” He lamented that many Filipinos use plastic bags, shampoo sachets, and other products made in plastic, which clog drainages.
The twin bills provide the implementation of programs that would maximize material reuse and recycling, including the establishment of at-store retrieval and recycling program.
"The use of plastic bags must be reduced. This may be achieved by requiring retailers to establish a recycling mechanism for plastic bags and encouraging consumers to use reusable bags," Angara said.
"In the United States, a similar, but seemingly more progressive move is being pushed to publicly track corporate plastics usage and management plans in the hopes of reducing plastic pollution around the world," he added.
Angara said that the ‘"Plastics Disclosure Project" which was recently launched at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Florida aims to come out with a comprehensive report on every company's plastic usage and encourage the world's investment community to help reduce plastic use, redesign their products and identify programs where money can be saved when it comes to plastic. (Charissa M. Luci)